Enterprise Holdings announced that Chairman and CEO Andrew C. Taylor has joined the Electrification Coalition (EC) - a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders representing the entire value chain of the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry. 

"As operator of the world's largest fleet of vehicles, we know that our future success depends on having a steady supply of cars and fuels that are acceptable to society," said Taylor. "That's why we are embracing new, clean fuel and engine technologies like electric vehicles. In addition, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility within the value chain to bring these vehicles to consumers."

Through a combination of public policy research and educating policymakers, opinion leaders and the public, the coalition seeks to address concerns raised as a result of the nation's dependence on petroleum. Other Coalition members include top executives from leading companies including Cisco Systems Inc., Eaton Corp., PG&E Corp., Nissan Motor Company, Johnson Controls, FedEx Corp., and Siemens Corp.

"We are tremendously excited that Enterprise Holdings is joining the Electrification Coalition," said Robbie Diamond, Electrification Coalition president and CEO. "While the consumer vehicle market remains by far the largest one, fleet electrification offers a critical opportunity to increase production of batteries and other components for electric vehicles, thus bringing down the price for everyone."

The coalition released a report Monday detailing the importance of fleet owners and operators to the wider effort to electrify the transportation system.

With annual revenues of $12.6 billion and more than 68,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates, through its regional subsidiaries, more than 1 million cars and trucks, making it the largest car rental company in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet.

"Enterprise is showing real leadership by committing to the purchase of hundreds of electric vehicles," Diamond stated.  "We applaud that leadership, and look forward to working with Enterprise on this vital mission in the coming months and years."   

The company announced in July that it will begin adding 500 Nissan LEAFs to its fleet next month, and said in October that it will also add up to 100 CODA Sedan EVs in 2011.

"We are committed to using our fleet as a sort of 'petri dish' to help promising new alternatives prove their viability in the marketplace," Taylor explained. "As part of that commitment, we're proud to stand with the Electrification Coalition in its proactive, forward-looking approach to our nation's transportation needs."

Enterprise Holdings' EVs initially will be available in seven markets where the infrastructure exists to support the vehicles, including Phoenix Nashville, Tenn. San Diego Los Angeles San Francisco Portland, Ore. and Seattle. In addition, EVs will be added to select WeCar car-sharing operations as an extension of local Enterprise Rent-A-Car business rental programs on corporate and college campuses.

"Our neighborhood network uniquely positions Enterprise Rent-A-Car to help lift the veil of mystery that surrounds electric vehicles, helping consumers better understand these cars and the charging technology behind them," said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. "Supporting alternative transportation options and joining with the Electrification Coalition and other partners at the forefront of the electrification movement is a key component of our long-term sustainability strategy."